By Hugh Winig, M.D.Dr. Winig is a retired psychiatrist and longtime OLLI @Berkeley member and volunteer.The origins and struggles of people with addictive conditions has been poorly understood in our modern world. Addicts to various substances have been criminalized, punished, imprisoned, and...
By Hugh Winig, M.D.Dr. Winig is a retired psychiatrist and longtime OLLI @Berkeley member and volunteer.None of us will likely return to our lives as we knew them prior to the pandemic. In addition to whatever normal aging or health challenges that arose regardless of the pandemic, the fragility of...
The mythology of E. Pluribus Unum that most people in our age group were taught while growing up turns out to have been just that — mythology. We were taught that “George Washington never told a lie”, that the sin of slavery was resolved by the Civil War, and the horrific efforts to try to...
For those of us who grew up in the 1950s, a book from that era that stands out is John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage about people in government who publicly stood for causes because they strongly believed in them, not because they stood to gain from their political position. The book featured...
Let’s start with the definition of the title of this essay: Empathy. Empathy is “a person’s ability to identify with or experience the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” If one word alone could distinguish the divide that exists between people today, it would be the degree to which one...
Over 20 years ago, friends and I started a men’s book group which has met monthly ever since. We have jointly read nearly 250 books, both fiction and non-fiction. One lesser known book that stands out for me now in this era of societal divisiveness is Rule of the Clan: What an Ancient Form of...
One hundred years ago, following 70 years of demonstrations, hunger strikes, and imprisonments of women suffragettes, women gained the right to vote in the United States. But even so, that constitutional amendment passed by only a single vote in the Senate in 1919. However, America’s current...
If you are in my age group, born during WWII, you surely have vivid memories of the Civil Rights era of the 1960s which occurred during our young adulthood. Reading recently published biographies of three iconic figures from that era has been revelatory to me. These people each changed the course...
 It was but four years ago during the 2016 election that our then esteemed OLLI @Berkeley professor of Philosophy, the late Richard Lichtman, gave a class on Marxist theory. During that class he predicted an existential threat to our society should Donald Trump win that upcoming November election....
 I was reading about a particular public figure the other day, as I have been doing for some four years now, whom I will refer to as “my crazy uncle”, for want of a better term. This guy is so bizarre that he almost defies belief. So, with my background as a psychiatrist, I put on my thinking cap...

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